Data4EqualityProject provides visual breakdowns of city and local budgets and spending, highlighting the universal funding discrepancies in favor of police, and to the detriment of social services and community improvement. They graph out changes in funding over the years, and the consistency with which you see police funding continuing to grow in relation to all other services, in every city, lays bare the inarguable need for change. We found this page soon after starting our site, and the information we’ve gotten from them has kept us motivated to ensure that we create systems of community-based alternatives to police in every city.
Data4EqualityProject told us that they started this page with the hope that their followers “get a better understanding of the inequalities in our society that factor into systemic racism. An example of this is the disparity in local government spending and budgeting between law enforcement agencies (police/sheriff) and community resources. There’s also other data we plan to share that covers various topics and issues that impact our society (i.e. trends in police militarization).”
“We know that systemic racism exists, and it needs to be dismantled. Our goal is to share data that will help us better understand what’s needed to accomplish that,” said the page’s organizers.
This data can also be extremely useful in learning of ways to direct your advocacy. Data4EqualityProject includes proposed and adopted budgets for the coming years, like below:
When we asked Data4EqualityProject how increased access to community-based alternatives could further their mission, they told us, “defunding the police and reallocating their budgets to things like affordable housing, economic development, education, recreation, youth/family services, health, and restorative justice programs, to name a few, is one way to better utilize governmental funds and our tax dollars. We hope to shed light on these funding disparities, so everyone can see where the opportunities are in our local government budgets. There are funds available for these community services, but they’re not always used in ways that better our neighborhoods. So, it’s imperative that we have community based alternatives to policing as this is an essential step in dismantling systemic racism.”
Data4EqualityProject is a must follow because it is an amazing tool to use when presenting the argument for defunding the police and for building community-based alternatives. It can be difficult to get people to fully grasp the inequities in our society and the way our communities are governed. Data4EqualityProject provides a visual toolkit that can help even the most data-averse person to understand the disparities in funding, and motivate them to make a change. They take suggestions for cities to include on their page, and want to hear from you about what data you’re interested in, so please get in touch with them!
We urge everyone to find the post for the city you live in and where you have seen the effects of the lack of sufficient social services. Send these to your family to activate them, and share them with your community as a tool to make complex data more accessible. And follow Data4EqualityProject!
all posts credit @Data4EqualityProject